McBride Council is beginning an educational campaign for dealing with a resident population of deer in the village.

Residents have complained for years about permanent populations of deer residing in the village, some of which have shown aggressive behaviour towards humans and pets.

McBride Council created 520 surveys in May asking residents about the problem. They received 102 completed surveys. A summary of the survey results is now available for public viewing at the village office.

A staff report to council suggested four options for council to pursue in light of the completed surveys. Council chose to pursue the educational option in order to “facilitate education opportunities and produce information material for the public on how to interface with deer and to discourage the feeding of wildlife in the community.”

Village CAO Eliana Clements says the next step is to get together the information “to start educating the public on living with urban deer in the community.”

What that educational material looks like is yet to be determined, she says, but will likely include printed materials educating residents as to the consequences of their feeding the deer.

She says council has not ruled out implementing a bylaw prohibiting feeding deer, but is starting with the educational campaign. Council may consider other options, like a bylaw or advisory committee, at some point in the future.

“A committee takes a lot of time and effort and you also need a Ministry of Environment representative on there,” Clements says.

Other communities in BC have gone as far as sanctioned culls of urban deer, which often destroy local gardens and may lure more dangerous predators closer to town. Urban deer culls, which are often controversial, are not something currently on the village agenda.